Scots architecture firms on a world stage
Four up and coming architecture firms have been chosen to represent Scotland at the world’s greatest architecture showcase this year.
Do Architecture, GRAS design studio, Stone Opera and Pidgin Perfect – all based in Glasgow – will take part in the Venice Architecture Biennale in September and are currently working up plans that will lead to a series of events engaging with communities in Venice.
Supported by the Scottish Government, Creative Scotland and the British Council, the Scottish delegation in 2012 will showcase some of the cutting edge ideas and innovative approaches to architecture practice that have emerged in recent years in Scotland.
Through a programme of events and activities on the theme of Common Ground, the firms will highlight their unconventional ways of working, such as using new technology to provide new perspectives on place, working in collaboration and working with community groups and young people to develop design practice.
Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop said:
“Good architecture and design is important to Scotland. Our architecture and design industry generates around £1.3 billion per year for our economy. Well designed buildings and places strengthen our communities that help people to fulfil their potential in business and society - as well as enriching our lives.
“It is particularly appropriate, in the Year of Creative Scotland, that four emerging practices demonstrating innovative and creative solutions and ideas have been selected by an expert panel to provide Scotland’s contribution to what is now the most important architecture event in the world.
“Scotland is a creative nation and a place of ideas and our presence at the Venice Biennale emphasises the importance both of what we can learn from abroad and what Scotland can offer internationally.”
Chair of the expert panel that selected the four practices, Neil Gillespie said:
"Scotland’s presence is entirely focused on the energies of a group of architects. Each represents an approach to practice that explores the nature of architectural practice itself not necessarily an exploration of architecture. Scotland’s contribution is bound up in the idea of the provisional, the marginal The sense is that architecture may in time come from these new voices but at the moment their intention is to observe and provoke."
Amanda Catto, Portfolio Manager for International, Cultural Export and Visual Arts at Creative Scotland said:
“This project builds on Creative Scotland’s extensive expertise in presenting work at one of the world’s most prestigious international arenas, the Venice Biennale. Scotland and Venice 2012 allows reflection on emerging practice and to consider architecture as a dynamic and fluid practice in an ever changing world. We look forward to a thought-provoking week in Venice in September and to the conversations stimulated by the project’s return to Scotland later in the year.”
Lloyd Anderson, Director of British Council Scotland, said:
“The Scotland+Venice project will provide an internationally significant platform for these four Scottish practices to showcase their talent.
“British Council Scotland is delighted to be supporting some of our most innovative architecture practices to bring their game-changing ideas to an international audience at the Venice Architecture Biennale.”
The announcement comes ahead of an International Design Summit in Glasgow on 29 and 30 May at which the Scottish Government will launch its consultation on a new architecture and placemaking policy.
The Culture Secretary added:
“Through a new architecture and placemaking policy, we want to encourage the creation of buildings and places with which people can identify.
“The consultation on a new architecture and placemaking policy is aimed at generating a wide-ranging debate on its future direction and the priorities for action.
“It is particularly appropriate, in the Year of Creative Scotland, that the consultation is being launched at an International Design Summit in Glasgow. This emphasises the importance both of what we can learn from abroad and what Scotland can offer to the world.”
An exhibition to support the Consultation process has been curated by Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS) – Input and Ideas: Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place – which allows the public to draw inspiration from nominated projects over the past ten years and create their own response to the consultation.
Scotland will be represented at the Venice Architecture Biennale from September 3-9, 2012, with activities taking place throughout Venice and a Scottish Hub providing a base for events. The Scottish presence at the exhibition will be supported by the Scottish Government, Creative Scotland and the British Council. Further details of the programme, led by project director Jonathan Charley, from the University of Strathclyde, will be announced in due course.
The advisory panel comprised:
Neil Gillespie (chair): Principal - Reiach and Hall Architects
Philip Long: Director - V+A at Dundee
Fiona McLachlan: Head - Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
Gerry Grams: Design Advisor - Glasgow City Council
Morag Bain: Exhibitions Manager - Architecture + Design Scotland
The following four practices have been chosen to represent Scotland at the Venice Biennale: